Growing up in Surin, the border region between Thailand and Cambodia, Marisa Srijunpleang developed a keen interest in the histories of both countries. However, she noticed that some historical stories were missing from written records. After talking to family members, she was surprised to discover they were survivors of the 1975 Khmer Rouge genocide, and how they had been directly and indirectly affected by the war.
“I wanted to record the history of the area where I lived as a tribute to those who have passed away. In addition, my aim was to explore the impact of war on regions along the borders in the hope of triggering people to reflect on the idea of a nation state. People who grew up along the Thailand-Cambodia border area speak a Thai dialect that sounds more Cambodian than Thai. This makes other people assume they are Cambodian and not really Thai, making them feel excluded from being considered Thai,” she said.
As an aspiring artist Marisa reflected her ideas in the art collection “T360174”, which consists of a video, her Aunt Da’s portrait as well as a handwritten letter, and 46 flower sculptures framed in second-hand photo frames. “T360174” was recently selected as one of three winners at the “Early Years Project #6: In A Cogitation” organised by the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre.